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The ban that backfired


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Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post regarding the “Draw A Muhammad Day" controversy, highlighting the role of the social networking site Facebook. Let me begin by sharing some of the comments, Tweets and Facebook messages submitted in reaction to my last post (with the saner ones up top):

I have deactivated my Facebook account today, and I requested all my friends to deactivate their accounts on 19th May till 21st may to protest against this group. We demand the Facebook Team to remove the group “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” as soon as possible otherwise we will not use Facebook.
Here's another:
To all those sending requests to join groups like 1) boycott Fb on 20th may 2) Leave fb and join twitter 3) create groups …to stand up against Prophet drawing day, is this the way to ‘counter’ those insults? In fact, we too, including me, insult our Prophet by not following his teachings! There are better ways to counter it, and you all know it.
And a third, of many:
Would banning of Facebook as a social networking forum by all the Muslims be the answer? I mean if it’s all Muslims it can hit them hard, their freedom of speech our freedom of choice.
There we have a few suggestions on how to pressurise Facebook by leading a mass deactivation campaign. Indeed, a plethora of counter groups condemning the campaign proposed a mass deactivation campaign as a reaction to Facebook's failure to remove the offending page.

But by Tuesday night, the PTA had blocked access to the campaign’s fan page on account of it containing hate speech and blasphemous content. While discussions broke out questioning the block and whether it would hurt the campaign itself, the worse was still to come. Yesterday, in accordance with the decision of Lahore High Court, the PTA implemented a ban on social networking website until May 31 (isn't it ironic that the LHC decided to take an immediate and strict stance on a matter like this as compared to the thousands of pending cases in more pressing matters)? The question arises: does a countrywide ban on Facebook 'officially' serve as condemnation? Is this the best possible way to counter the hate speech?

Facebook has expressed disappointment at the site’s banning in Pakistan, and is considering the possibility of blocking the offensive page within the country. That means the campaign page has still not been removed and can continue to be accessed (except from Pakistan). The hate speech on its discussion boards and various comics depicting Muhammad will remain on the site. But just because we cannot see it doesn't mean it no longer exists.

It’s important at this point to clarify exactly what is offensive about the campaign, and for Pakistan to articulate what it is trying to achieve by banning several websites. If the main issue is “Draw A Muhammad Day,” then how is banning Facebook hurting the campaign? The Facebook forum is not the same as the campaign itself. The “Draw a Muhammad Day” website can still be accessed in Pakistan, and it has been updated with news on the campaign and some initial pictures. If anything, the outrage and the ban has served as a PR campaign for the event.

Meanwhile, on Facebook itself, more than 41,000 users joined one page dedicated to the “Draw A Muhammad Day” event, and another 4,400 users ‘liked’ a similar page. On the other hand, 56,000 users joined a Facebook page to oppose the campaign.

What we have here is an enraged audience condemning the hate mongering, but the counter-argument seems to be losing its sense of direction. Now, in the wake of the LHC ban, condemnations are being hurled against Facebook, rather than the campaign itself. The fact is, the failure of Facebook to remove the page doesn't suggest its alliance or support of the campaign. The only thing Facebook can be accused of is remaining indifferent to its users concerns. But, I repeat, this has nothing to do with the campaign, Islam, Muslims, or hate speech.

As I write this, news is coming in that Blackberry services have been suspended across the country by the PTA in an extension of the LHC order to block Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, and YouTube. Rumour has it that Gmail will also be shut down. What's next? Are we moving towards implementing a ban on the internet too?

The result of this banning spree is that the last thing most Pakistanis care about now is the issue of inciting hatred, and crafting an effective response to hate speech. Instead, we are now concerned about censorship, authoritarian tendencies in our government, and our own freedom of expression. Quoting some of the Tweets in response to this issue:

@adnanp: so much for "democracy" in pakistan. Wikipedia, youtube, flickr, facebook all banned!

@naveennaqvi: there's no sense of civil disobedience in #Pakistan. the way to challenge the campaign was to protest it not to blank it!

@DrAwab: Worrisome - the PTA notification has no time limit starts now to no end

It is unfortunate that the government is taking staunch steps in banning social media websites across Pakistan in response to a campaign. As a result, what started as a group of hate mongers looking for attention has now turned in to a major source of inconvenience for internet users across Pakistan. As it seems the LHC finds no harm in banning these social media platforms, one must remind them that the very same online tools were mobilised to campaign during the judicial crisis.

This is a a sad day for new media in Pakistan. While many claim this to be a 'victory' against the offensive campaign, I feel at loss. The ban frenzy has only created a win-win situation for extremists on both sides. Instead of allowing people to opt for deactivating their accounts and registering their protests in the way they want, we have been forced to act like sheep once again, forced to jump on a bandwagon, and bear the burden of the perception that we are in fact an intolerant society.

Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away. I may choose not to use Facebook ever again, but I reserve the right to make that decision on my own.

Sana Saleem is a Features Editor at BEE magazine and blogs at Global Voices, Pro-Pakistan her personal blog Mystified Justice. She tweets at

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Sana Saleem is the co-founder of Bolo Bhi & Stories Beyond Borders.

She's on the board of advisory for Courage Foundation, Edward Snowden's legal defence fund.

She can be found on Twitter & Facebook.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (187) Closed

Monkey May 20, 2010 11:20am
Thanks for writing this. Good to know there are people around who actually think like me. Been bombarded with smses "praising" the decision. What is going on :(
KM May 20, 2010 11:31am
Good article. I completely agree that the reaction has gone out of control. It is something I would not expect in Pakistan...
Aijaz Hussain May 20, 2010 11:45am
Right on! You've very aptly and concretely defined the problem with banning Facebook. Its just a medium, not the opinion maker.
K Jafri May 20, 2010 11:50am
I agree with every word of your blog Sana! The way PTA has acted is beyond ridiculous!
Sardar Mohkim Khan May 20, 2010 11:51am
The reason i side with this decision is solely because Facebook itself has been pretty dictatorial when it comes to 'respecting its users'. And if anyone who really wants to go about protesting in their 'own respective ways' the Web is free for all to explore and talk about their opinions on this act or any other.
Sakshi May 20, 2010 11:38am
Thank you so much for such an insightful opinion on the blog. I agree with you whole heartedly. While the hate group is offensive to millions of Muslims around the world, banning and blaming FB is no solution to it. People should have opposed the group, not shut off from the world for this way, no one can hear their voices. Thanks again. Great writing indeed! :)
Basil May 20, 2010 11:53am
Pakistani Government took very right decisions and steps I really appreciated.
jingoist May 20, 2010 11:54am
I don't know why everyone is so depressed about facebook ban!!! LHC ban will soon be lifted but the hit facebook has got this time... I am sure they will re-think of closing such PAGES in the future. Secondly, Muslims aren't just in Pakistan I guess.... a huge Muslim community is there! I guess its time for them to stand up! Spread your word like you are doing here! Ask the overseas Pakistanis and Muslims to carry on the campaign! and who doesn't hate FACEBOOK due to their ever changing privacy policies!
Afshan May 20, 2010 03:57pm
Very good article. and I completely agree with you. Its funny how people are praising the decision. Doesnt that make us hate mongers too? Is this the way to stand against a religious hate campaign? We are one of the most intolerant nation in this world. I wonder how the Muslims of other countries reacted to this and did their authorities took similar decisions. And I also wonder what are we going to gain with this ban anyway.
imran May 20, 2010 04:03pm
I think its a great decision by LHC and PTA banning face-book.those who are saying that banning wont help need to think a little.well we Muslims are about 47% of face-book users and we have been asking face-book to stop this event but face-book was just ignoring us. If we unite and leave face-book all at once face-book looses 47% of its users. with this i think next time something like this event happens face-book will listen to us and will give importance to our beliefs and why can't we have our own websites we really dont need facebook Pakistan has taken the first step hopefully rest of the muslim world will follow us!
Cynic May 20, 2010 04:05pm
"Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away. I may choose not to use Facebook ever again, but I reserve the right to make that decision on my own." Well said. People have the right to exercise common sense and free speech. No one forces you to watch an offensive TV program, read an offensive article, or visit a website that is offensive. Change the channel, stop buying the paper, or don't visit the offensive website - in the end those simple acts are more profound.
Nauman May 21, 2010 09:20am
For those who are against ban. By using there service, you are increasing there earnings... They have (na-auzubillah) dared to insult our Holy Prophet (SAW) and you people are not bothered. You still want to use their service and make them rich. I feel pitty.. :'(
Babar Shehzad May 20, 2010 04:21pm
Good one.
SL May 20, 2010 04:37pm
Sana, read twice the last sentence you wrote. "Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away" That sums pretty much everything about this issue.
Sohail Qureshi May 20, 2010 05:40pm
Finally, sanity prevails. Thank you for the article. We seem to have lost our way as a nation when it comes to matters of the brain and seem to be experts in making a mountain out of a molehill.
afat May 20, 2010 05:43pm
Muslims should learn to differentiate between , spur of the moment Reaction and properly considered Response. I have nothing against facebook or the creator of that page. except , mutual respect should be observed , and as hate content , like offensive material against Jews or Holocaust is banned in certain countries and facebook , though not obliged by the law , respects it and make efforts to not show that in concerned countries, they should have done something , to block that offensive content , in muslim countries....which they can do .....and have done earlier . it has nothing to do with " freedom of expression " has more to do with mutual respect .
F.Faruqi May 20, 2010 05:53pm
You're absolutely correct in stating that LHC has more important things to do than to ban social networking websites. This is not really a matter which should be considered foreign policy. If anyone wants to stop using facebook of their own accord, then it's not an issue, but dragging an entire country with them shouldn't happen. Besides, this will only create publicity for draw Muhammed(PBUH) thing. Many major western newsites are reporting on this issue and perhaps inadvertently spreading more misconceptions about us and our religion as a result. This will only hurt us and to an extent facebook. On the other hand, it may even end up helping those who started the incident.
H-3 May 20, 2010 05:56pm
The decision to ban facebook on the pretext of blasphemous material is wrong. Even more outrageous is banning Youtube and Wikipedia. Blasphemous material is there all over the internet. I am not even sure what are we going to gain by that move. The right thing in my opinion would have been defending your case on the same forum in a civilized manner. I remember that many years back there was an online petition circulated all over the internet that ultimately forced Wikipedia to remove sketches of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H). Why wasn
Sahar May 20, 2010 06:00pm
100% on target. so the world thinks we are intolerant, we are against free speech, we don't have an iota of common sense, we cannot think for ourselves..etc now who is going to counter these prejudices? and how? even after the ban does lift, how will we erase the effects of it? is anyone ever going to take us seriously after this?
Rational Thinker May 20, 2010 06:10pm
Why not leave those who offend Allah or his prophet to Allah himself. After all - if you have real conviction in your religion they shall be punished by the almighty. Or is it that by protesting you want to impress Allah so that he will forget your shortcomings.
Nauman May 20, 2010 06:17pm
AOA! Nice article but let me give you my views. i have read in many blogs about the disappointment of people after banning FB officially... People are saying that instead of banning, we should have opposed the group. But let me tell you.... We tried to do so... But facebook didn't even bother to remove that event. And yet our people say, LHC's decision was wrong. Most of you must be knowing how websites in general and facebook in particular, earn money. Different companies advertise on facebook, because they know that how much facebook is used. By these advertisements, Facebook earns money. When we will not use facebook, it will certainly decrease the number of users of facebok, due to which advertisements will also decrease and so will the facebook's earnings. I don't know, whats the matter, why can't we people live without facebook? :-( . Look at our condition, we can live without offering our prayers, we can live without understanding Holy Quran, But we can't live without facebook :'( . I feel pity on our condition.
Ali Hasan May 20, 2010 06:48pm
Google and Wikipedia have both been blocked. To what end? How does one boycott the boycott?
Saeed Chughtai May 20, 2010 07:18pm
I am deactivating my facebook account, and hope everyone living outside Pakistan would do the same. Its time to make efforts to comeup with a social networking site that is free from hate speeches.
Silent Observer May 20, 2010 07:22pm
The American woman, Molly Norris, who was behind all this, has tendered an apology to Muslims, so is it all over, or is it?
Bilal May 20, 2010 07:33pm
Well we cannot declare FB as completely innocent. There is no clause on the website relating to religious blasphemy. Freedom of expression must not overshadow religious sentiments.
Bashir Mohammad May 20, 2010 07:35pm
Are we a nation we cannot survive few days of internet for our beloved Prophet. Shame on guys who are against the banning. You guys seems so selfish. These so-called Muslims who says the decision of banning is bad knows that anything against Islam is glorified and financially rewarded. I don't know how you guys will face Allah swt on the day of judgment.
King Lean May 20, 2010 07:36pm
Dudes n Dudettes....this is not the way to answer back by banning facebook.....think about how much it has damaged Pakistan itself...i mean there are soo many big businesses on facebook and i have a business too on facebook...its really stressing me out that why does PTA is making my decision for me...i mean dont i have a choice to use facebook or not?!?! i would suggest to remove to ban from facebook ASAP because its damaging Pakistan economy itself. Also solve this problem by a democratic way , a legal way , a polite way , not a way by just banning the site and all sites that are affiliated with it.
Fatima Saleem May 20, 2010 07:47pm
If you do not condemn an offense, you will eventually become sensitized & empathic. Ideally & per FB rules, the group should have been deleted by the FB admin themselves long ago, just like they do with other offensive and violent stuff. FB is a world renowned website, much trusted & appreciated. So whether it was some other minor site as well,it doesn't matter. Not doing so itself shows violation of their own rules & regulations and above all double-standards, and I guess it is sane and humane enough that it should be protested in whatever ways possible & why not @ national level? But, the fact is Muslims have an inborn association & love with the Prophet which even the least practicing ones cannot negate. Hence, emotions play and such reaction to blasphemic content naturally happens. Im glad to see at least on 1 platform we r together, irrespective of sectarian differences.The spark is there. Otherwise, the state of affairs over the years has made the nation numb & insensitive, perhaps incapable to revolt when needed. I am pleased to see their are Pakistanis who can understand the depth of the issue. As Atiqa Odho, puts in on her twitter account "20th May Fb ban is a symbolic gesture to support our religious belief. Kindly stand up for what is offensive to us" and I second her. common guys bearing a few day fb ban will do you no harm.
Sohail Qureshi May 20, 2010 08:00pm
You see my friend, we are not ruling the world currently, so we are in no position to tell them what to add in their clauses. To them religion is no longer important. They themselves make fun of Christianity and Judaism, therefore it's impossible for them to understand our sentiments. According to them it's a way of criticizing. You and I may disagree to their way but we CANNOT impose our opinion on them and we shouldn't. The best way to deal with this is to equip yourself with knowledge of the religion to have answer for every attack rather than hiding behind a boycott. This boycott has caused a far greater damage by publicising this event all over the world and has attracted a lot of audience who had nothing better to do. We should seriously think about our way of retaliating to this as we cause a far greater damage to the most glorious personality (PBUH) and don't even realise it. Alas.
Nauman May 20, 2010 08:04pm
hmmm... so your business is more important to you than this inhumane act by Facebook...
Kanwal May 20, 2010 08:08pm
Totally disagree with the writer!! so mam what you want then? we behave just like a robot no protest no boycott on such a big dreadful event against our HOLY PROPHET(S.A.W.W) ?? It just like that that you people become addict of fb so now you even can't bear ban for some days too!! Think like a Muslim not just like a facebook user come on guys its the time to unite and convey our message to cartoonist or who have created that page by just remain quiet we can't do any thing... Think and do reply me
R ME May 21, 2010 03:50am
All arguments a side. Here is an interesting comment posted on the Christian science article pertaining to the issue of boycotting facebook. John C., (a nonmuslim) commented on the article: "i agree with people having freedom of speech and expression, but when it comes down to it not depicting mohammed is part of muslim religion and what right do others have to question and even mock this? groups like this on facebook aren't funny and just cause hurt and upset. people who think they are jokers joining groups like these are one step closer to becoming downright racist. and you may want the freedom to 'ridicule all religions', but if someone ridiculed you wouldn't you complain?" Here is the article: There some insulting comments by racists, but that exactly what this entire boycott and banning is about, ENDING RACISM. For those of you that live outside the United States, I don't think you guys properly understand the degree to which racism, if left unchecked, can effect minorities here. So congrats to Pakistan for taking such a bold step and getting this anti-hate message out to the world.
Rauf May 21, 2010 03:54am
King Lean says: May 21, 2010 at 0:36 Shame on you King Lean. It is a shame when The King and Pakistan have to rely so much on FB for survival. The enemy of Islam is relentless. We too must be relentless in our belief and our absolute love for the one who was offered a 'Kingship' but turned it down for the sake of his belief! Our love for our prophet is not up for exchange for an economic gain. United Muslims around the world can cause major disaster to the Western economies. Let us do it.
Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan May 21, 2010 04:06am
i think this is very shameful for you. but i will never wish such a hard time to come in your life because as a Muslim we take the oath that we will never guide other on wrong and will show them the right path to follow. so my dear wake up now, Good morning, the dark is gone and first try to study the matter deeply then write something for it. and you are saying that let the matter be solved in a democratic way so here is no democracy and if you are not Muslim then fine behave like a humanitarian. thanks.
Shahzad May 21, 2010 04:10am
Guys, the west keeps crying about freedom of speech. Let's try out whether they practice it. They come out as one when they insult us Muslims, but do they practice the same freedom of speech as soon as you say something about the Holucast which they dont like. From them its against the law to deny it. Well, well!! Where is the freedom of speech. I remember sometime back an Iranian newspaper did try to put up a conference or something about the holucast. Lo and behold, the whole western world became one in condemning it. You cant even challenge the number of the jews killed in the holucast, because you can be jailed. On the other hand, they can do everything and insult us and say its freedom of speech. Hit back at them, start a group on Facebook when it opens up and start group discussion whether the holucast was real or made up. I believe, Facebook will itself ban the group from writing. Lets anyhow test what they say about freedom of speech.
Sahar Khan May 21, 2010 04:12am
OMG!!!! this is a developed country where all the fb users are going crazy. I have never seen youth so perturbed over water, food, sanitation etc issues of country. It is mind boggling the way people are playing with the perceptions of readers. PTA has been given power legally to take actions like these. And in any way blocking the site does not mean that you have managed to delete the humiliating page , one always needs to understand the concept attached behind it, it was the financial setback to facebook. Turkey is one other country which is developed that is not a land of Mullahs, but they also did the same in their own way. definitely there are many things to do to show love to our prophet Muhammad(SAW) but in what way it is justified that being tolerant to those caricatures is a depiction to being educated! What PTA did is not an issue, Pakistan is very far from development and the internet usage is alarming in this country and then there is a country named CHINA, which is a developed and a progressive country and the internet usage ratio there is much lesser to Pakistan. So what a shallow standard of development. The whole furor from a certain class is there because of being detached to the platform of Facebook that was vital in connecting to loved ones. But was it always there? Can we never survive without it? Is putting a status update that crucial to living? Oh c'mon I request the youth of Pakistan to use their brains to stir some new ideas in research where we lack the most! And again saying "registering their protests in the way they want" is almost sinister! Everybody will come with his way of protest and in a country like Pakistan where ignorance rules, will devastate the face of the country. So blocking it in many ways was much a better tactic to deal with it! Remember WE ARE NOT GOING TO DIE!But We will die without water! So try making much noise about it!
Farooq May 21, 2010 04:48am
We are an intolerant society. Do you still doubt it. Internet users and readers supposedly belong to a class of Pakistanis who should be able to make their own decisions but rather a lot of people still look to high court, PTA for making decisions for themselves and whole nation. The mentality has not changed.. You or with them or against them..
S. A. M. May 21, 2010 05:24am
Sana, Don't you think that by banning a lot of killing and protests that could have taken place inside Pakistan has been avoided. I think given the fact that our people are rather should be very emotional when it comes to our Prophet it is a very wise step taken by the Lahore High Court. Don't you agree that 5 people were killed in Pakistan during the last protests on a similar (Danish Movie I guess) issue. I also see it in a different perspective. It is a message to FB and to other similar forces (that are not indifferent when it comes to holociaust etc) that we can completely shut you off if you don't care about our feelings we do not want see your face. It is my request that you should try to avoid creating confusion and mixed feeling over this sentimental issue. You have said something about LHC took this decision very quickly and that there were other cases to be decided. to this I would say that this matter has gained such alarming publicity that it needed a quick action. It is a pity that our own people, in one way or the other, are totally bent upon cursing and criticizing our institutions. If LHC had remained a silent spectate it would have been blamed for inaction and now that it has acted promptly it is being accused of being too fast. Hey you have to look the positive side also. I agree with the LHC's decision. I believe the Court has acted very prudently. I am sure LHC is clever enough to understand the naivety of the Facebook. DO you think the FB would have taken any action in view of your protests. Muslims from around the world are protesting doesn't it has any impact whatsoever. Molly has apologized but the shameful event is still taking place. They have hurt our feelings in the past and today also they have done this and it seems that tomorrow also it shall be repeated.
Ali kazmi May 21, 2010 05:25am
And we have have strapped FB and other blogs... we are so righteous...we cannot give this opportunity to denounce our own prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) to any other...this opportunity is our right and we should denounce the modest man in constellation not any one else... show some serenity, and don't get your public bewildered to chose their own might. We love our prophet, its you who don't know the blocks to spot and gun them down!
vg May 21, 2010 05:30am
Is Muslim religion or its founder so small that any one can insult them? I think any religion or its founder is beyond any insult. Freedom of expression makes every one stronger and those who are close minded become more agitated. It is amazing to see that Muslim think that their prophet can be insulted by xyz. Just think those who are throwing insult at your beliefs are that great that you should feel small? Any ones prophet is beyond common mans words whatever they may be. By boycotting or agitating you are creating barriers around you. Is that what you want to achieve?
Raj May 21, 2010 05:38am
Hi, All this seems more like a circus and people of Pakistan as jokers. As an outsiders, I am really enjoying it. Pakistan never disappoints me with these type of hilarious shows. Well done. One more feather in the cap. Keep it up. Hope to see one more soon.
sakuki May 21, 2010 05:40am
Being a Muslim can any one give a perspective from Quran ,Hadith or any authentic Islamic book? There is no freedom within Islam , its salvation but there is choice not to choose Islam at all , We need to draw this line. People like you (who are against the ban ) are another type of Mullah in our society, anyway you're going to hurt us. Terrorist take lives of people , you take the beliefs of people.
SR May 21, 2010 06:16am
Time to shift to twitter!
Tahir Naseer May 21, 2010 07:07am
I completely agree with what you have written. I have been following that blasphemous page since I started receiving those invitations to ban, boycott facebook etc. The point is that like me, there were millions who did not know about this page and I am sure that in Pakistan, the majority of the protesters did not even know about services like facebook. By all the incidents i.e. ban in Pakistan, bit violent protest, the swearing at their page have strengthened their reasoning about the aggression. In addition I can now see more pages on facebook similar to the one which was reason for all this tension. Are we going to protest on every page and thousands of material on the internet which is offensive for us? Although "Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away" but everyone should also think about the long term consequences and the actual message perceived by the other nations. .
aley May 21, 2010 08:11am
Is there any other Muslim country in world that banned these site? or their official spokesperson or foreign minister condemned it? Is OIC (Oh I See!) can be found near by?
mudassir May 21, 2010 07:34am
That was the best thing which Pakistani court could have done to protect the emotions and rights of Muslims. The facebook management mentioned that they can make the offending pages unaccesable in Pakistan so actually they do know it very well that these pages are really offending to the Muslims around the world. The facebook should be sued/fined for hurting the emotions of millions of Muslims around the world and Pakistani government should also ask facebook to pay some fine in order to reopen the website in Pakistan, so that these ppl should realise that how serious this matter is for the Muslims around the world A H
Kamran May 21, 2010 07:53am
Hi, I fully support Govt. decision to ban facebook and all other related social websites who are responsible for hurting Muslims. My question to sana is "Is there any value of Facebook in our lives? Cant we live without Facebook? If china can ban Facebook and youtube why not Pakistan? This matter is very sensitive. Being on Facebook and recording your protest is not the way we should adopt. Because if facebook was necessary for life then we would have think to go by that way. Beside the issue of controversial page on facebook, it has become a source of wastage for time for young generation of Pakistan. I am a research student in world 5th Best University and i myself was wasting my precious time on facebook. I have friends from many countries specially from Europe and North America. And what i was observing over the past few years was that we, Pakistanis were wasting more time on facebook than them. And it was a sad point for me. I was thinking on it most of the time that why we are crazy about Facebook. I was a regular or i would say 24 hr user of facebook. Although i can access facebook but i have deactivated my account. Because there is no point of using facebook. Now i have more time to concentrate on my research.There are hundreds and thousands of other resources where we can go. Why we should go to Facebook and protest.
S. A. M. May 21, 2010 08:27am
Pravin May 21, 2010 09:22am
Sohail, I am personally against doing anything which spreads hate and unnecessarily hurts sentiments of any particular community. The thing on FB should have completely been avoided. Having said that I would like to comment on your statement - "...and has attracted a lot of audience who had nothing better to do." So the question is - Why is the audience attracted towards such things? The answer is there in your comment. You have stated that - "You see my friend, we are not ruling the world currently, ...". It simply means that you want to rule the world some day. The non-Islamic world has a view that Islamic world wants to conquer the world and put their religion on them. The non-Islamic world certainly is concerned and feels threatened. This needs to be urgently addressed by Islamic world. I repeat that hurting religious sentiments is wrong and shouldn't have been done.
Asad Ullah May 21, 2010 10:53am
Its time to wake-up ,your best friend dont want to know that asad is checking his email or making cofee etc, we are wasting our time and emotions on these activities, and when we meet with friends, we dont have any issue to discuss and from here real problem going to start, which is involving in more time wasting activites ... Our illetrate nation needs our youth knowledge and gouts and really its our responsibility to teach them in simple and easy way to do right and best practices , my dear friends no one come from outside this world to help us, only we can change our enviornment, our activites, our social life with our pure and religious noumns and culture, and by the grace of GOD we have strong and sharp minds ... "Just Start now,thinking time ended" Thanks
aansa May 21, 2010 11:18am
Raj: Is hurting feelings of millions of people is hilarious show for you?
Ahmed May 21, 2010 11:24am
"Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away. " Should not there be some ethical rules and code to ensure that one is not expressing opinion in a way to insult and hurt others.
A.Bajwa May 21, 2010 11:37am
Why ban the idea should be to boycott. Why we get addicted to these silly habits promoted by capitalists In my younger days they promoted smoking and drinking coca-cola.
bluntman420 May 21, 2010 12:28pm
that's what religion is for...some people are not religious...waht can you do? ban facebook?
Raazia May 21, 2010 12:40pm
is facebook the only thing which is needed for our survival? seems as if facebook was the oxygen. for most of the people it seems hard to be without facebook/youtube. the only thing i am worried about is that why people are behaving this way? they believe in freedom of speech, we showed them what we can do in return. i believe it was a wise decision which was appropriately taken by LHC.
G.A. May 21, 2010 02:29pm
You mean silly habits like using the capitalist-invented internet and computer as you are doing right now? Perhaps you should walk to your destination instead of riding in planes, trains and automobiles? These capitalist machines are unhealthy!
Beenish May 21, 2010 02:58pm
Great Idea
Sohail Qureshi May 21, 2010 03:06pm
You prove my point. I am amazed how quickly you've labeled people "selfish" and "so-called muslims". This is not about surviving a few days about internet. This is about THINKING if this is the right way to protest? Is it not our job as muslims to let the world know what islam really is OR is it to hide behind a ban and do nothing. Banning these sites doesn't mean they do not exist. It;s just that you and i can;t access it. So it's a perfect time to let go of this self righteous attitude and learn that other people are entitled to their opinion.
jkpakistani May 21, 2010 03:09pm
Another Clueless expression.
jkpakistani May 21, 2010 03:13pm
Great , I completely understand this racism phenomenon and I am living for last 10 years. Our elite class have no clue and they are sitting in there lavish lounges to make these comments.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:13pm
The bottom line is that you can't control what others do. there are a lot of people in this world that (according to your perception) are out there to disrespect you. but, from their perspective, their actions have little to do with disrespect and more to do with their self-expression and their freedom. the fact is that many westerners feel disrespected by Muslims all the time. we don't do anything to remedy that perception. we always play the part of the "victim,"--they did this to us, they did that to us, if it weren't for them we would have been glorious, if it weren't for them we wouldn't have been this dispecible. stop with this nonsense, and open up your eyes. you don't demand respect. you earn respect. stop demanding it, and start earning it.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:17pm
Yes, there is a lot of value. dont use facebook as an excuse if you feel you are wasting your time. people who are focused accomplish things inspite of things like facebook and youtube etc. and people who want to do nothing but waste their life away will waste their life even if facebook and youtube werent accessible to them. Like email has it advantages, so does facebook. But wasteful people come up with ways to abuse their time either way.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:19pm
the answer is NO, because different people believe in different ethics. whats wrong in your eyes, may not be wrong in someone else's eye. so how will you manage that? the fact is that you can't. so why not disassociate yourself from the people that are out their to disrespect you. what do you think Mohd himself would have done in this situation? nothing! he would have ignored the girl and let her do whatever she wants to do. he wouldn't even have thought about it again.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:28pm
No mudassir, they came to know about the "offensive" nature of the page AFTER Pakistan took action. don't just assume things. people feel disrespected every day. people who play the role of the "victim" all the time are looking for excuses to feel disrespected. Muslims nowadays are like that. they feel they are the "victim." the only thing they are a victim of is their own weak mind, weak mentality, and weak intellect. they are a victim of nothing else.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:31pm
Good observation. Control your own beliefs and be responsible for them. don't try and control the beliefs of others. they have every right to form their own beliefs.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:38pm
No. I dont think banning was a wise step. The wiser step would be to educate the masses. Educate them that the "enemies" of Islam will often take "offensive" actions. we can 1. choose to get ruffled up by such actions, and in doing so our "enemy" realizes they have the power to ruffle us whenever they want. or, we can 2. ignore their "offensive" actions. look away and show them that their antics have no effect on us. seeing this, they stop because they realize they are wasting their own precious time. The choice is always ours. and every time, we choose option 1 and become weaker and weaker and weaker and weaker and weaker.
someone May 21, 2010 03:39pm
Excuse me. Why this facebook group could have led killing and destructive protest? I do not get it. It did not happen in Pakistan? Pakistani's are so against Shariah as a law, but cannot withstand democracy, they take away a person's right to the open information. Why a Pakistani would kill another Pakistani on this facebook matter? I still do not get it... wait a minute, I do get it. Because no matter how many educational institutes we have, how many education we get, we Pakistanis have an erupting volcano of emotions void of commonsense.
Rauf May 22, 2010 06:10am
Sis Amina wrote: "If you want to continue using Facebook and create groups that promote the love and peace and offer intelligent and civilized debates that seek to educate the people who have offended you, then good for you, too". ******************* I invite you to try an 'intelligent and civilized' debate with the West on Islam. You will change my view. Go on!
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:42pm
No one insults us. we let them insult us. and we insult us ourselves. if we realize that insult starts with us and stops with us, there will be no more insulting.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:45pm
We are not victims of the west, and we shouldn't want to victimize the west. lets pick ourselves up, educate ourselves and make ourselves stronger. once we are strong, our times will change.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:50pm
People choosing to not use facebook would have been a better gesture. Government banning it is not. in either case, the girl who started the page remains unaffected either way. so what is the point? why bother to begin with? there are a lot of bigots in this world. should we set out to control each and every one of them?
Osama May 21, 2010 03:52pm
I think facebook is a complete waste of time and after such things i think we all should deactivate our account for ever i closed my account a year ago and i am still alive. If people say that they cannot live without it so i am really sorry for them, but just do it once you will fine a lot if time for other stuff rather than wasting time on facebook.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:55pm
Good post Sohail.
Fahad May 21, 2010 03:58pm
I do not condone those horrible caricatures. But it cannot be denied that a major reason behind such resentment against Muslims falls to the way we act and the way we present ourselves. You imply that facebook has insulted our prophet (pbuh) - I would like to remind you that a few ignorant users of the website have created this tawdry event. Wake up! Educate yourselves and act with compassion and dignity. Treat others with respect, regardless of race, religion or other irrelevant distinctions.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 03:59pm
this is how we should all think. we all live in this world with other individuals with their own belief structures. if we want to live with them, we have to be civil. we shouldn't play the victim, and we shouldn't play the aggressor. if we steer away from these two, others will come to respect us in time.
arsalan naqvi May 21, 2010 04:01pm
the question is: what does the banning accomplish? if it accomplished squat, then what is the point? lets stop playing the victim all the time. how do you think Mohd himself would have reacted?
Fahad May 21, 2010 04:02pm
Most of the people who attacked Islam were atheists. While this event is WRONG, it should be a cause for us to reflect. Why are we subjugated to such mockery? Why are there individuals who 'abuse our great religion'? If you have a look at the current situation in Pakistan, in terms of development, education and current affairs, perhaps you will find the answer.
Sheikh Chilli May 22, 2010 06:29am
I dont know where the things going but i'm against the ban on these sites.
asif May 21, 2010 04:29pm
Facebook is a brain child of a Jewish boy and facebook won't block it. Its just another way of getting back at Muslims. As long as Muslims are not united, you'll keep on seeing this kind of abuse.
A. Ahmad May 21, 2010 04:38pm
Are Muslims really that insecure? So, someone wants to draw cartoons of Mohammad, so be it. Let them. What's the big deal? It's 2010. Isn't killing and threatening people over drawings of Mohammad actually showing him to be of a higher status than he wished us to look at him? Sometimes people let their emotions overrule logic and Pakistanis are certainly no exception to this. Sometimes I wonder if these same people know what exactly they are angry at?
Moniba Nazif May 21, 2010 04:50pm
Well I agree only till the part where 'hate speeches' are concerned. Other than that, just like when you have a difference of opinion or principles with your organization, you can submit your resignation and leave, similarly the most mature way to show our difference of opinion really is to leave FB. If numbers mattered, then the counter group having greater number of fans should have prompted an action from FB. Simply by having people out there who are raising their voices is not stopping anyone from making fun of our Prophet PBUH and the only satisfaction they are getting from this is dependent on our presence there. If we are not watching whatever is happening then they get no kick out of doing all this and hence will be more effective than raising our voices in an inflamed way.
waqas yousaf May 21, 2010 05:35pm
well, either the writer was so confused while writing this blog entry or it could be lack of caffeine i consumed today.. and no, none of the website you have mentioned above has been blocked by pta except youtube and facebook (i wish they could deal with the facebook like they did with youtube in feb2008 lol). Anyway, no 1, PTA has acted upon the advice of lahore high court and secondly, its very good step because louder and clearerof this magnitude couldn't have been transmitted as account deactivation or so and so isnt big deal for em.
Saher Maqsood May 21, 2010 05:49pm
Although the ban on FB hasn't affected me much, but the one on YOUTUBE definitely has. I think that the ban should have been debated and decided in a democratic way although at the same time i believe that it wasn't as urgent an issue, not for me atleast. It would have been more interesting to see how individual; who were adamantly in opposition of this activity, conducted themselves on FB during those three days (18th-20th May) and also after the controversial day. I should be allowed to protest in my own manner, given that i choose to do so. Also if somebody's cause takes a way of protest that causes discomfort for me, i would go against that way of protest.
Dr May 21, 2010 06:41pm
ASSALAM-U-ALAIKUM, I totally agree with u, and I loved these lines : "Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away. I may choose not to use Facebook ever again, but I reserve the right to make that decision on my own." I'll update this as my status, As soon as I will b able to :D ;) :)
Adil Mem May 21, 2010 06:43pm
it is just weird even on TV on a leading news channel i see that they were trying to convey the idea don't go to such pages, and that facebook isn't blocked in Saudi and other countries if they are doing nothing about it so shall we? does 2 wrong make 1 right? i mean why go on facebook? why cant we just kick facebook outta our lives once and for all,
Ali May 21, 2010 06:51pm
This is not facebook's doing......its some individuals who are making this ridiculous event/page.......and they don't get a penny by this.....if you don't know i ll gladly explain how facebook earns their money........ p.s facebook also makes money by the anti groups by the advertisement it shows on the side bar.
Ali May 21, 2010 06:52pm
they are doing what we all should.....ignore these ridiculous individuals because they dont deserve our attention
Rauf May 21, 2010 06:59pm
I must though applaud by the very brave stance taken by them against FB/Youtube or who ever. Draw a line. No one dare cross that! I totally oppose views of Ms Sana Saleem. I suggest she edit for some teen forums, etc. Yes freedom of speech enhances our understanding of all the happening by agreeing to disagrees or otherwise. But not to be abusive to what is part of me. As Muslims we ALLOW them the freedom of speech when they disagree with teachings of Islam or don't consider Muhammad(pbuh) to be a prophet. It is their choice. But a campaign to insult my belief and my prophet is not acceptable. Hope many of you will find other forms of entertainment than FB/Youtube...
Sarah May 21, 2010 07:15pm
Are you serious?? "If China can ban face book and youtube why not Pakistan?" This is not a justification for censorship! If China is cutting its citizens off from the world it doesn't mean we should welcome censorship as well. You should be grateful that you're living in a country that guarantees your liberties!! Or at least still partially. I totally agree with Ms Saleem: it should be left to us to decide if we want to boycott these web-pages or not. The only thing our government is doing by giving into personal subjective sentiments of some people is prove that we're in fact an intolerant society. Do we want that? I feel pity for you if you need governmental censorship to solve your problem of wasting your life in front of the PC chitchatting on face book. Sorry if you don't realize that it was a privilege that you could decide to do that - others might not have done differently (I am not a member of any of these websites nor do I frequent Youtube.) - but the point is: we should all be able to choose for ourselves! Anyway, I think it says a lot about "us" when you mention that Pakistani students waste a lot more of their time with nonsense compared to other students - that's the way our country is going!
Amina May 21, 2010 07:16pm
Thank you so much, Sana, for writing this post. I think many people here who still support the ban fail to realize the last and most crucial point you made. To have the freedom to make your own decisions is one of the most precious freedoms in the world, as it allows you to discover what values you truly believe in, and it makes you that much stronger as an independent individual. At the same time though, don't people realize how Facebook could be used to address these problems? Some 40 million people use Facebook in Pakistan alone - another 400 million people use it worldwide. Campaigns to raise awareness about the country's problems can easily reach tens of thousands of people, and with the right organizers, something might actually be done about the host of problems we are suffering from today. Of course, there are countless other ways to raise awareness as well, but the internet is arguably the most efficient way of doing so in the 21st century, and a booming platform like Facebook is such a valuable resource - why waste it? It saddens me how quick people are to think the worst of everyone who is not on their "side". People need to realize that every instrument can be used for as much harm as it can be used for good. If only we had the freedom to use them for good... If you are against Facebook and you would rather spend your time doing something else, by all means, then good for you. If you want to continue using Facebook and create groups that promote the love and peace and offer intelligent and civilized debates that seek to educate the people who have offended you, then good for you, too.
Maanav May 21, 2010 07:50pm
My 2 cents - rather a ban, a BOYCOTT would have been simply AWESOME.
Sarmad Palijo May 21, 2010 10:59pm
Muhammad.Quddus May 22, 2010 02:31am
"This is a sad day for new media in Pakistan", the writer writes. This is not new. In the name of blocking the communist literature, The Auyub clique made sure the education centers in Pakistan would not print any thing associated with communism. In the year 1959, this step pleased both home and abroad who had the stake in fighting that particular dogma. Those who wish to ban or to censor only expose themsleves as weak.
Shama May 22, 2010 03:48am
The overseas Pakistani is certainly smarter than the ones in Pakistan to support this useless ban.
Peter May 22, 2010 06:53am
Please Pakistan stop and have a good look at yourselves. The world is completely unaware of your existence
salim May 22, 2010 08:14am
So how long will this ban last.. An year, decade? What after that? The pictures are still going to stay around on internet!! Then WHAT? Ban again..
ksk May 22, 2010 08:24am
Hey i am a Pakistani, but I am not religious. I am atheist. I want facebook. Do I have this simple right or am I not allowed to have my free rights and thoughts because I am atheist. Even if Pakistan does not allow me to practice my free thoughts, atheist, I am still a proud Pakistani. How many of you accept me as Pakistani if I dont practice Islam? Will Dawn even post my free thoughts/comment?
Sadaf May 22, 2010 09:26am
I am an artist and was running my business through Face Book freely... taking orders and making customer for art work and paintings,, ....religion is only between God and a Human.. lets not make it a political issue... If we loved Islam that much,,, was PTA sleeping for so many years when un-Islamic content was there on u tube and some other? Were they in COMA? Nope ;;; we r being fooled in the name of religion political parties...It is only a way to stop our tongues and control media,, and journos...thats it.... The same boys who were in favor of this ban... sent disrespectful kind of mails....Where does religion goes that time? "I am in favor of ban, hey give me your cell number,, u look very cute" fake standards and double faced behavior......
Kamran May 22, 2010 09:36am
Well Sarah, Right, When it comes to Tolerance, Cannons are towards Muslims, every nation of the world acts what is in best for them. My question to you is 1) If France can think of ban on Veil? 2) Swiss can ban Minaret of Mosques? 3) If US can wage wars that killed innocent Muslims all across the world? Is this depicts tolerance. Why Tolerance is tied with Muslims always? we should never forget our Fundamental Ideology on the basis of which we got Independence. Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. And Censorship is necessary to maintain its fundamental Ideology. It is very easy to sit in front of your PC and write comments here. But do remember the lives we have lost in making this country an Islamic Republic.
Ibn-e-Maryam May 22, 2010 09:58am
Very good article. I am pleased that people have courage to say, what needs to be said, even in this hypocritical society.
hassan javed warraich May 22, 2010 11:55am
please ban facebook permanently.. and youtube as well.. this is not freedom of speech , this is hate speech, ignorance speech..!! we need to ban consumer products of such ountries supporting facebook. we dont need to import .. its time to be honest to ourselves.. we containate our products to earn more money, not realizing we are hurting our own people , who then turn to these foreign products.. its time to wake up. we are muslims first , than anything else.
Rafa May 22, 2010 11:55am
I don't hear any Indian muslim demanding ban on facebook , although I am sure most of them are condemning this act. Does that mean , Indian muslims are not muslims ? This act by the government of Pakistan portrays a very bad image of muslims world wide , it portrays Islam as very intolerant religion, which I feel is incorrect depiction. don't be a cry baby pakistan , try to learn that there will be people who will disagree with you and that doesn't mean that you should close your door and windows not to hear it. If you don't like it , ignore it , but please don't make issue out of it.
hassan javed warraich May 22, 2010 12:00pm
yes i deactivated facebook we are all hurt and enraged by facebook and youtube.
saba May 22, 2010 02:19pm
Thats not a valid argument! by supporting blasphemous offensive content what image is the west portraying . Pakistan is muslim majority country . We have laws that support our muslim identity. Its part of our constitution. Kudos to the govt for implementing the ban !
Fawad Siddiqui May 22, 2010 07:02pm
It's not like that !! Such a reaction is necessary. We are not a dead nation. We have our own values, beliefs, culture. An alive nation should not allow anyone to play with it's emotions and beleifs. We should be proud that we are the only Muslim country who took that bold step.
Adil memonn May 22, 2010 07:14pm
getta life :) life is beyong watching friends pix and status on fb, maybe we are Muslim ? maybe we have dignity? maybe we Value somthing? so maybe you can tolerate the govt? for probably the 1 good step it has taken in ages? maybe you can seek a life for urself beyond a social website? maybe...
Nauman May 22, 2010 08:33pm
@ALi.. dear brother... i know better than u, how fb or any other website earns money.. its my field... @fahad. brother... previously facebook blocked any page which was reported abused... theak hai g.. b8 this time, it didnt even bother to do so... n u say fb has nothing 2 do wid it.. hmmmm... pta ni kyun... b8 my mind dxnt agree dt fb has nothing 2 do wid it....
Nauman May 22, 2010 08:38pm
@ peter
Nauman May 22, 2010 08:43pm
@ H-3. people tried to remove that page... the page was reported abused but fb didn't bother... now what do u say.
Nauman May 22, 2010 08:45pm
have we ever disgraced anyone's belief? have we? than how "dare" anyone insult ours. any answer.
Nauman May 22, 2010 08:54pm
@ rauf bhai.. awsum. @ salim... look i dnt say by banning such sites, pics would be removed. But by using their service again, why are you making them strong. haan? and portraying urself as weak dt you can live widout there facebook?
Red-Listed May 22, 2010 11:25pm
Wow....According to Cnn 7800 pics where uploaded to that page....facebook didn't take action on it...its time to reply back...i will deactivate my facebook account..will you...decision is your.... that my new campaign for facebook... i am very happy LHc did this...and people who thing its a political ban they are fool...youth of Pakistan did this...they played very important role in it.. i am happy world got that news from we need to awake OIC.....
Rauf May 23, 2010 12:01am
Mr. Naqvi "Muslims nowadays are like that. they feel they are the
S May 23, 2010 01:09am
Did u even read her article ? She is saying the ban , rather then strengthening your ability to protest or boycott actually stripped that ability from you. The power in a boycott is in the individual decision to do so.
Rauf May 23, 2010 01:12am
Fahad what side of the fence are you on? First of all you "do not condone those horrible caricatures"? DO NOT CONDONE? Yes and you are right when you say, 'the major reason behind such....' Exactly. It is because of the way we act - meek and weak. Quite and void of confidence and respect for Islam and our prophet. Finally you say, 'Wake up! Educate yourselves.....................'Are you aware as to who is treating whom with disrespect? It is the West that is treating the Muslims with disrespect. Am I making any sense to you?
Farook Ali May 23, 2010 01:19am
Rauf May 23, 2010 01:23am
Peter: If the world is unaware of Pakistan's existence then obviously internet is not working well enough for many who still are in the dark about the existence of Pakistan! Terrorism in Pakistan - indeed. But have you ponder who brought it here? Google or whatever. Find out. That's the homework for you.
sushmith menon May 23, 2010 01:41am
So long as Religion is NOT separated from the State these kind of issues will hold back Pakistan and the Islamic world at large. In the USA as in other true democracies, people have the right to speak their mind openly. Just because the Islamic world does not allow this freedom, you cannot think that you can impose your harshness on others in the world.
Rauf May 23, 2010 01:57am
Afat, you speak well.
Rauf May 23, 2010 02:04am
Bottom line: Mutual respect for every world citizen - esp towards their belief! Avoid spreading hate in any way. Can we do that? Can they do that? I hope so.
Rashid May 23, 2010 05:12am
Pakistani nation must have patience, tolerate ignorance of others, and do not show emotions by carrying demonstration on the streets. There are people in the world who are flawed, and will keep attacking or insulting others' faith.
Irfan Khan May 23, 2010 07:15am
The site is also banned for some reason by Nayatel/Micronet in Islamabad.
Robert May 23, 2010 07:59am
I appreciate your wonderfull ideas of putting a ban on what you mentioned. But one thingh I can't understand that what you are doing on this product called internet. This is not Pakistani product. Take my advice, you better go to the hills to live your remaing life than living with civilised comunity with bad intention.Every Muslims Knows their Religious Duties. "FIRST YOU BE A GOOD MUSLIM FOR YOUR SELF"
Eilya May 23, 2010 11:09am
It is interesting to see the reactions amongst the Pakistani people regarding the competition of drawing our Prophet and the ban on youtube. There are many people who have recognized that in our daily lives we fail to follow the sunnah and we fail to qualify as good PEOPLE. The material available on youtube has ALWAYS been there and without a check. In all countries they control the content and block the material that is not appropriate, but Pakistan does not realize this and when they do, they BAN everything. As far as facebook is concerned, be rational. There are ways to stop that competition from happening, there are ways to report that page as bogus. By blocking facebook in Pakistan, it will not stop the competition from happening. People who want to refrain from using facebook, they have their right but those who don't want to, they are not liable to decisions made in utter confusion. In all, which other ISLAMIC REPUBLIC has banned facebook and youtube after the appearance of this page?
Sana May 23, 2010 12:49pm
very well said......its pitiful how we dont feel bad about missing our prayers but why is it so sad to leave facebook???
SR May 23, 2010 12:52pm
Sana, very well said. I fail to understand why is that its only Pakistan in the whole world who is banning and restricting these sites, why not the other Muslim countries. We are so much ready to enrage and infuriate people. We always deal with things which we should avoid, we always find a way to get a bad name all over the world.
Umar May 23, 2010 01:24pm
Sir I understand your feelings but seriously, we, Pakistan, cannot afford to stop trade with those country on their consumer products. Much of Pakistan's economy depends on it. Pakistan is a developing country and though it "may" (there is a chance it may not) have the resources to develop those consumer goods, the country is not developed enough to exploit them. Much of the consumer goods developed in Pakistan depend on imports of raw materials or capital goods from those foreign countries. Pakistan's major partners in trade do include USA, Germany and UK (western Non Muslim countries). We are a nation that is united on religion. Our religion Islam teaches us religious tolerance. So we must fight against such threatening activities against Muslims but we cannot force Non Muslim States to accept our beliefs because in doing so we would be forcing them to accept our religion and the Quran guides us that there is no compulsion in religion. We must remember how the pagans of Arab threatened and persecuted the Prophet and we must stand against the Non Muslims today for the respect of our beloved Prophet. But we must also remember the Prophet's actions and his words and we must not transgress our limits. We must influence others with our conduct to have them accept our beliefs. I do agree with the ban on the sites, but it would have been much more effective if other Muslim countries had supported us and did the same. Without international support there is really no point to the ban and so we must approach the matter with a different reaction to oppose it.
Abdul Rehman May 23, 2010 01:57pm
Aware & beware the pakistan is thriving with the support of foreign aid. imagin the life in pakistan if we put ban on consumer products of such countries supporting face book.
Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad May 23, 2010 02:46pm
Sana Saleem, I totally disagree with your suggestion. In fact, I am going to write to the SG OIC, with the proposal to immediately direct, all 54 member countries, to plug off Fb from their usage, like Pakistan has done it. And Inshaallah, you will see the result of boycott of 1.5 billion Muslim population. The Fb people will come to OIC begging with apology and requesting to be excused. You are also requested to reconsider your proposal and play your role in uniting the Muslim Ummah, against the heinous conspiracies against our belief and faith.
Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad May 23, 2010 02:55pm
Sana Saleem, remember, Islam never allows Muslims to offer other cheek, if slapped on one. Under the circumstances, it must be an eye for an eye. Have everybody forgotten the reaction of the Jews and the west on the recent statements of Iranian leadership on holocaust. "What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."
arsalan naqvi May 23, 2010 05:10pm
I believe your math is wrong. 1. muslims are not 47% of facebook users. 2. muslims will never unite and boycott facebook together. and this has nothing to do with muslims, for that matter no other community (christians, jews, indian, americans etc) would ever unite for something like this. and even if they did unite, i bet within 3 months all would be normal. i think you yourself need to think a little bit better.
arsalan naqvi May 23, 2010 05:15pm
good observation. if you want others to stop disrespecting muslims, then first you need to stop disrespecting them.
arsalan naqvi May 23, 2010 05:17pm
Its glad to read that at least some people in our country have the wisdom to sort out the truth.
arsalan naqvi May 23, 2010 05:18pm
how so?
Rational Thinker May 23, 2010 05:18pm
Religion has hardly proved to be a binder my friend.The sectarian violence in Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh buried that concept long ago. Just by the virtue of being a muslim you have little in common with an Arab or Indonesian.
arsalan naqvi May 23, 2010 05:19pm
you can't demand respect. you have to earn respect. the problem with the muslims is that we believe we should be respected and demand it. but thats not how the world works.
syed ahmed kazmi May 23, 2010 05:40pm
Answering to your question Rafa, although i'm not an Indian neither an Indian Muslim, but as you just asked that whether Indian Muslims are Muslims or non-Muslims?, the thing is that the banning of Facebook in Pakistan is because that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic Country and for us these things does matter but for India and India's economy it absolutely does not because they are not Muslims neither there Govt. May be quarter of the people living in India are Muslims so they can't really help with what ever the issues or the scenario is, although they must be having hard time. But that's the only reason up to what i can think that Indian Muslims can not really take an action just because they are in minority. And i'm not even in Pakistan i'm in US but we still condemn this act. Hopefully this could make a little bit sense.Thank you.
Zaheer Hussain May 23, 2010 08:01pm
We in New Jersey, USA have set May 31, 2010 as "Everybody Read About Prophet Muhammad Day." So instead of going crazy with anger, let's do something positive. These cartoonists want to see Muslims angry. They love to see Muslims protesting on the streets. Let's spend some time on May 31, 2010 reading about Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. Read one hadeeth, one paragraph, one chapter, one book, whatever. Read it alone, with friends, with family. Read it at home, at masjid, any place. Let's gain from the treasure that our Prophet is. The cartoonists aim is to annoy us. Our aim should be to help the humanity. That is what our prophet intended.
A I May 23, 2010 09:17pm
Why do you care about how long the ban lasts? isnt it important for you to have notified that muslims do not compromise the dignity of their prophet for anything.we disagreed and so we registered thow offended we were on a NATIONAL level. Even if tomorrow the ban is lifted,we shall at least have some history made that muslims cannot stand being insulted like that. If fb(and yes fb has violated its own regulations in providing a platform o host such blasphemy) wants our participation,it should better start respecting our beliefs. freedom of speech cannot be donned by racism to legalise things
A I May 23, 2010 09:23pm
Banning accomplishes the mere notification to the whole world that our rulers or our constitutions may not be fully Islamic but even so the 1.8 billion will not stand being insulted like others. its high time we registered our protest and the general disagreement to these insults. let the world know it cannot guise inter faith religious intolerance under the garb of freedom of speech.otherwise racism shouldn't be a crime in the west
Zaheer Husaain May 23, 2010 09:50pm
We in New Jersey, USA have set May 31, 2010 as "Everybody Read About Prophet Muhammad Day." So instead of going crazy with anger, let's do something positive. These cartoonists want to see Muslims angry. They love to see Muslims protesting on the streets. Let's spend some time on May 31, 2010 reading about Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. Read one hadeeth, one paragraph, one chapter, one book, whatever. Read it alone, with friends, with family. Read it at home, at masjid, any place. Let's gain from the treasure that our Prophet is. The cartoonists aim is to annoy us. Our aim should be to help the humanity. That is what our prophet intended.
Umair.N May 23, 2010 10:13pm
Why don't people of Pakistan do something productive like protest against terrorism, or your govt. corruption, poverty, women rights, the slander of your religion by extremist, or the treatment of your religious minorities by some.....Just a thought. And burning flags of western countries is offensive too, considering probably half of your relatives live in those countries, by reacting the way they are reacting they are only satisfying what the people who made the page wanted.
Mohsin P May 24, 2010 03:17am
Well said @Rafa. Can't agree with you more. This kind of intolerance begets more provocation. Ignoring it will make it go away but that is one trick the mullahs have never learned. The only explanation I can think of is that the Indian Muslims have grown up in a more secular environment and are decidedly more tolerant. However this is not to say that India is completely free of religious tensions.
Terence D May 24, 2010 04:48am
47%?? Well Imran, that's a fast one you're trying to pull. According to Facebook's own study of demographics 3% (the exact number is 2.7%) of the users hail from Muslim nations. Nice try though.
ali May 24, 2010 05:22am
are you sure it is 40 million? that is one fourth of pakistan's population..
Azeem May 24, 2010 07:46am
Exactly! You should protest but you should not ban! Considering the role of OIC, I am not sure if this organisation has done anything credible for muslims anywhere at any time... let alone this stance! Go try your luck with that as well!
vijay May 24, 2010 08:54am
@sayed Just for your information. The Indian government has pro actively banned the access to the events page. This was done very silently. So much for a demaocracy. I m not sure if the Indian muslims would have rioted for a ban, but taking a clue from past experience where removing the Eid - milad flags after a month provoked riots in Hyederabad, the govt might have decided to ban it anyway.
samia saleem May 24, 2010 09:48am
According to me it is an excellent decision made by our government.Muslims from all over the world should stop using facebook,as this would leave them with immense financial loss and damage to goodwill. think for a moment "would any of us like to shop form the trader who abuses our forefathers ..? obviously not. its an opportunity for our software developers and computer experts to launch a software /similar kind of social community with the motto to respect every religion.I can surely say that people from all over the world would switch to it ... thus our govt. can generate revenues out of it instead of seeking for more and more debt and aid from west.
Usman May 24, 2010 09:50am
Its not gonna continue forever..... the aid and the so called support given by such countries. Imagine life when these people close the taps of luxuries, when we will be more engulfed in them. I doubt if the infant mortality rate is going to increase, if we ban such products, websites and countries forever. Or for that matter any problem is going to arise in the long run. Do we have no chances of survival without these products, websites and aid of countries?
Umair May 24, 2010 10:29am
Well Said, Farook...
Rashid May 24, 2010 11:38am
Dear All ; With present Pakistani constitution " Sketching of Hazarat Muhammad PBUM or even his close companion (Suhaba karam) is a crime" this law is well inaccordance of Islamic law.All over the world its wrong to hurt anybodies religious feelings .This should be applied to this case also Facebook should remove this page and also publish apology and modify his charter to prevent these issues Just come on guys,if anybody will sketch me or my beloved ones in form most hatred charecters I will complaint to concern authority and they will ban this thing.Why this not happening incase of our beloved Prophet.When facbook was aksed to ban it,they should immeditely remove this page and also ban particular user as they do it in case of individuals You just sketch me badly or write something wrong about me on any page, I will report abuse and page will be removed. Try to understand who is wrong According to Pakistani laws here is no other option than blocking facebook till they do what required
Tahir Ahmed May 24, 2010 11:41am
We are not dead nation. We have our own value, belief and culture. AND our values and belief should dictate others action. All the world should follow our belief and act what our values dictate.
KC May 24, 2010 12:01pm
Rafa, that's because Indian Muslims are Indian first, and Muslims second. They don't care. Non-muslims LOVE those Muslims that don't react to any type of insults thrown at them in any form.
KC May 24, 2010 12:04pm
For all those people who feel that Pakistan, or Muslims shouldn't react like they are regarding that Facebook page. It's ok to draw and insult Islam, but not ok to promote anything else that insulting to others? Every Muslim should be protesting this, and hats off to Pakistan for taking a lead, as the ONLY Muslim country to protest. Other Muslim countries should be ashamed of themselves.
Umair May 24, 2010 12:10pm
Dear All, These things(making of drawing & carricatures) were inevitable...reasons being alot. The foremost reason is that we ourselves are the biggest offender and blasphemer of Prophet (PBUH). we don't follow his commands ordained in Quran or Ahdees.We all have our different interpretations of Islam, Quran and Ahdees.Our Saha-e-Sita are full of blasphemy.If someone starts narrating those things, we become violent, aggressive, start damaging, burning our own properties.we are never rationale and humane.
arsalan naqvi May 24, 2010 01:47pm
What values do we have? deceit, corruption, murder, torture. since we have limited resources, are we better off fixing our own society, or should we focus on fighting this girl that started the "draw Mohd day" group?
arsalan naqvi May 24, 2010 01:57pm
Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmed- Read all the posts on this forum. Then tell me, from your observation, does it appear that we (the people, mostly muslim, that posted on this blog) are in agreement of whether we should protest against the girl who started the "draw Mohd day" group? I have read a lot of posts, and I conclude that there is no consensus. people seem divided to me. So then, why do you assume that magically, after your letter to SG OIC, all muslims will become united? Most muslims believe that great injustices are being committed against muslims in Israel, in Kashmir (among other places). To me that is a much more important issue. The muslim community hasn't united to stand up against those injustices. You think they would stand up against facebook now?
arsalan naqvi May 24, 2010 02:11pm
great observation robert. FIRST YOU BE A GOOD MUSLIM FOR YOUR SELF. once you do that, I can guaranttee you that you will not feel disrespected by the west anymore.
Erum May 24, 2010 04:09pm
Just a correction. There are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan which doesn't make them a Minority !
Syed May 24, 2010 04:31pm
Who is imposing its harshness on others? Nobody should be allowed to make fun of anybody's religion. It is Pakistan's right to block or unblock. Where is free speech in Austria and Germany when you can get arrested just for mentioning that holocaust did not happen. Where is free speech/expression when there are restrictions on hijab in some countries in Europe. That is imposing your harshness. The west has free speech only when it is good for them.
H-3 May 24, 2010 07:37pm
They have removed it now. Perhaps they would have removed it beforehand even without all the hoopla. Point to ponder here is that blasphemous material is still there in one form or the other and it will remain there. There are millions of sites / blogs and unless you ban the internet all together they will remain there. So why single out just two or three sites? Why not initiate dialogue / civilized protests (without death threats to facebook management or bearded men who haven
Rizwan May 24, 2010 08:25pm
Well I would say whatever was done by asking people to make cartoons was absolutely wrong. Reason being (It will also answer lot of comments here) lots and lots of religions are there in this world and nobody is allowed to make fun of anyone's religion. By doing this is offensive because its one way of making fun. We MUSLIMS never did anything like making any cartoons of Jesus or any other religion then why anyone should do it? As far as people say PAKISTANIS should be tolerant, let me ask to all who think PAKISTANIS are more in-tolerant. But Prophet Muhammad is way way important and holly for Muslims , how would you think Muslims should not react? As far as Muslims in other Muslim countries are concerned, I don't know they ever reacted to anything happening to Islam.......That is the reason we MUSLIMS are being treated badly every where because we are not united.....and I would agree and acknowledge that is biggest reason for Muslims to be in this bad situation in this world.......... May God bless us with getting united so that non-Muslims should know how to respect our religion. AMEEN
Nadeem Rizvi May 24, 2010 11:13pm
If we open a blog on FB regarding cartoons on so called Zionist 'Holocaust' of WWII, this insulting blog on Prophet Muhammad will shut down automatically.
Erum May 25, 2010 01:31am
I second Amina on this. Are you trying to mock her ? I have personally conducted an 'intelligent and civilized' debate on Islam in the West. Would you like to join in and see for yourself or sit back and mock others?
Erum May 25, 2010 01:36am
Mr Nauman, I second Peter. When Jinnah made Pakistan, Religion and state were in fact said to be separated. Really? If you do what to do, then why dont you sit up there in the Government section and make Pakistan a better place? Why are you blaming Peter for suggesting? IS it too harmful for you to listen any one else`s opinion other than your own ignorant comments? Why dont you save your explanations for a first grader ~! And as per your own words, Now what do you say?
Rauf May 25, 2010 01:45am
Good thought Mr. Husaain but our aim should not be to appease, please or help humanity in this instance. Let us begin by helping our own cause first. "Everybody read about prophet" I can assure will be happen in our homes or mosques. You arent on sites like fb...I can assume! Are the instigators going to read with us? No sir! Praise Him we are fairly well aquainted with many a Hadith. We are Muslims and we always mean well.Our love for our prophet has no limits. And this is the message we need to get across to the jokers. Make them read about the prophet so they benefit. For starters they can find "what they say about the prophet" on internet. And make every effort to avoid purchase of anything made in countries concerned. As Muslim we dont humiliate their faith. They should reciprocate.
Rauf May 25, 2010 01:49am
Great thought. I will be the first one to render my financial assistance whatever little I can, insh'Allah!
Rauf May 25, 2010 01:55am
Not quite sure of what you are trying to say. To respect our prophet is MANDATORY. You pray for him and you praise him in your salah. You have been ordained so by Allah. Think about it!!!!
Rauf May 25, 2010 02:41am
7800 pics? That's is not short of hate mongering. No other group, community, society, faith or what have you will tolerate this kind of hate against their own. Yet many writers here think we mustnt ban/boycot this fb! I hope this changes their view and every Muslim de-activates their dealings with them. Go on. Show your love for our beloved prophet.
Rauf May 25, 2010 02:45am
Yes Mr. Naqvi turn our other cheek so it be 'slapped'! We dont want to be victims or aggressors. Just leave our prophet ALONE!
Shaukat May 25, 2010 03:32am
It is sad how Pakistan responded to the drawings of Prophet. Just think what Prophet did when he was insulted. He would respond by kind gestures. Let any one draw what ever they want to draw. All we prove by our behavior is that Muslims are irrational. People of Pakistan have much more serious problems such as poverty and lack of education which they need to address. Stop protesting and start working for betterment of the country.
Peter May 25, 2010 03:52am
Corruption at the highest levels in the Pakistan Government for decades, religious beliefs straight out of the middle-ages and a feudal mentality that has and will always exist in Pakistan has brought terrorism to Pakistan. PS. Until very recently, most Pakistani's were denying the very existence of terrorists and terrorism in Pakistan - many still do.
Peter May 25, 2010 03:59am
Rauf, why is it that you appear to address the issues that I have raised relating to the importance of education and the role of both the State and its interaction with religion? Please STOP blaming others for the current state of Pakistan; Pakistani's only have themselves to blame.
Twangar Kazmi May 25, 2010 05:11am
Hi everybody, In response to this post I have to say that Ms Sana has posted some valid points like how there's a difference between social networking and the campaign its self... However we mustn't forget that the objective of social networking sites is not to spread hatred and therefore must follow some ethical guidelines. So there are two point here , 1. in terms of facebook , facebook should not have remained indifferent regarding the opposition to the continuation of the blasphemous pages. and 2. We as nation, what SHOULD we have done... everyone should REALIZE that we must have some self respect. The Denmark people continue to commit such crimes, we cannot stop them by just sitting around, you guys saw what happened when people did react (telenor buildings being burned down etc.). Moreover banning of faecbook showed that we do not support such content... banning of youtube etc... came with the package. I think the objective was achieved as we made headlines on News channels like BBC and CNN regarding this matter ! Peace .
Imran Usman May 25, 2010 08:38am
I would like to say simply as this: I don't know weather or not ban on Facebook was rationalize but as Muslim I cannot support any thing that has in anyway hurt Islam, or Muhammad PBUH. So thats it for Facebook for me, and in my heart no matter how much I try to deny it, I am kind a happy about all this cause if nothing else at-least it would create awareness (may be a little) in people about Islam. As america tried to turn everybody against Muslims, cause of 9/11 more and more people became Muslim, as the danish picture started riots, people became more aware of Islam now there are thousands there. People don't become Muslims because of current acts of Muslims but they become Muslims cause of Islam, and reading about the ways of Muhammad PBUH. As for the Facebook ban one day we will all have to answer to Allah and if Allah asked me question: "What did you do when My beloved prophet was under attack?". I would like to proudly say I stopped supporting whomever attacked him, asked others to do it to and I supported the only people who would go against the attacker. So Pakistani government as corrupt as you may be, I support your decision to ban Facebook with all my heart.
Umair May 25, 2010 09:53am
Well Said Peter...Rauf wake up man!..
Moin Khan May 25, 2010 11:36am
What are you talking about? Do you even realize how naive you are sounding? 30,000 people converted after 9/11 and majority have reverted tp their original faith! In Denmark muslim population is on the rise due to unchecked immigration and higher birth rates NOT conversions. Islam has got a very bad name after 9/11 and Danish cartoons indecent and this Facebook bans gives more fuel to people mock Islam. No body knew about Muhammad cartoons till the time all the Mullahs started with their threats and rantings, Look now every non-muslims has or seen the cartoons with great admiration and will never move back, draw a cartoon day is a result of this moronic behavior. Especially, Pakistanis are hiding behind different nationalities to get acceptability abroad, when will people like you grow up and stop believing propaganda spewed by mullahs!
Shifa Haidry May 25, 2010 12:52pm
hahahahah... very well said! God such a fuss over banning facebook and these poeple want us to not make any fuss over something that should be fussed about... what hypocrisy.
arsalan naqvi May 25, 2010 02:16pm
I doubt it. You can try though.
arsalan naqvi May 25, 2010 02:18pm
actually, i think he is right on the money.
Armughan May 26, 2010 09:42am
Guys the simple thing is that facebook earns and sustains via the traffic coming in on its website... So if all muslims united stop using facebook the traffic will decline drastically and so down the drain will go Facebook... the question is who owns facebook? ponder on that fact and you will not want to use it anyway Indian muslims are muslims too so lets no judge them on that but they also need to be united with the rest ... which i am sure, if a forum like OIC or Arab League sponsor banning of FB, will happen.
Amber May 26, 2010 09:47am
Stop using the internet then
Zaheer Hussain May 27, 2010 04:22pm
We need to refresh our memories on how our Prophet dealt with such people. His neighbor used to throw garbage at his door. What was his reaction? Did he boycott her or did he protest? Didn't he visit her when she was sick? What was his reaction when Allah offered to destroy the people of Taif when they threw stones at him? What did he do when he conquered Makkah? We need to get the message across the way our Prophet got it across. That's why we need to read. We need some excuse to read about the Prophet. When only one cartoon is published, thousands show up on streets. Why can't we just dedicate a few minutes of one day to read about him? I am on facebook. And it was funny people in facebook were asking others to boycott facebook. The principal aim of all Muslims should be to help others enter Jannah. It is the aim of Iblees to make as many people go to jahannum as possible. We will not invite anyone to Islam by boycotting or protesting. The aim of the instigators is to annoy Muslims, and they love to see Muslims shouting on the streets. Pakistan makes headlines for protests be it cartoons or something else. Thousands of protestors show up in streets holding banners and shouting slogans. If these people read something about the Prophet, they will be able to handle such situations in a better manner. You can teach the instigators all the time. Log on to any newspaper story that deals with Islam, you will see hundreds of comments. You can respond to them and you can make them read about the Prophet. More and more people are accepting Islam during these debates.
Ahsan May 29, 2010 03:03am
I feel sorry to see all the comments that Muslims have written against the ban. Our Prophet P.B.U.H. has the highest status after Allah.
Taz May 31, 2010 03:15am
@Rauf Check the meaning of 'condone'. 1. to overlook or forgive (an offence) 2. (Law) Law (esp of a spouse) to pardon or overlook (an offence, usually adultery)
arsalan naqvi Jun 01, 2010 01:52pm
logically connect the two statements for me please? A. Prophet has the highest status after Allah B. Sorry for comments written against the ban First thing you have to establish is the following: Is the ban the right decision? If so, should we also ban the internet? After all, facebook is part of the internet. Should we keep banning everything?
Naheed Jun 12, 2010 04:41pm
Loved your comment! Very true and insightful!